PRESEASON JUNIOR AT LAS CRUCES
Picacho Hills Country Club
Las Cruces, N.M.
April 12-14, 2002
BOONE HOLDS ON TO TAKE MEDALIST HONORS IN LAS CRUCES
Final-round 74 clinches title for El Paso native
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Kevan Boone
of El Paso, Texas, carded a final-round 74 Sunday to win the
inaugural AJGA Preseason Junior at Las Cruces. Moises Cobo
of Seville, Spain, and Brian Meck of Austin, Texas, shared
second place just one shot behind Boone.
The 36-hole event, conducted by the
American Junior Golf Association at par-72 Picacho Hills Country
Club, featured 84 boys (ages 13-18) from 21 states and Spain.
Six New Mexico natives competed in the event, including three
players from Las Cruces.
The AJGA's Preseason Junior Series
was created three years ago to give more juniors a chance
to gain national exposure. The Las Cruces event was the second
of four preseason events the AJGA will conduct in 2002. The
top-15 finishers each walked away with at least one automatic
entry into an AJGA event this summer.
With the victory, the 17-year-old Boone
(72-74-146) earned three automatic entries for AJGA events
this summer. He opened his final round with a solid 1-under
35 on the front before posting a 39 on the back side.
"On the front nine I hit my irons
better than I did yesterday," said Boone, who had a pair
of birdies on the opening nine. "I bogeyed the first
hole but after that I hit it perfectly for the rest of the
Boone started the back nine with three
straight pars before running into trouble on the par-5 13th
hole in the form of a double-bogey. The double, paired with
a Cobo birdie, reduced Boone's lead over the Spaniard from
five shots down to two. Boone still thought he had a comfortable
lead until they approached the 18th tee.
"I didn't know Moises was that
close to me until I asked where he stood on 18," said
Boone, who sealed the victory with a five-foot knee-knocker
for par on the final green."I was in some heavy rough
off the tee and just tried to get it on the green and two-putt.
I just didn't want to go out with a three-putt."
Cobo (74-73-147) just missed a 12-foot birdie putt on the
final hole that would have earned him co-medalist honors.
Meanwhile, two groups ahead of the leaders, Meck (77-70-147)
was putting together the low round of the tournament. He made
four birdies, including three in a row during one stretch
on the back nine.
Ryan Blackburn (78-72-150) of Augusta,
Ga., took fourth while Kyle Maze (76-76-152) of Round Rock,
Texas, Tom Glissmeyer (77-75-152) of Colorado Springs, Colo.,
and Jared Hoffman (75-77-152) of Phoenix tied for fifth.